A large fire breaks out on Main Street in downtown Merced, California
Two firefighters suffered minor injuries after a large fire broke out in downtown Merced late Thursday night.
Merced Fire Chief Derek Parker said the firefighters suffered a minor burn and a broken ankle.
Firefighters responded to the scene at 10:19 p.m. in the 100 block of West Main Street at H Street, on the edge of downtown.
Parker said the area where the fire occurred was unoccupied, but nearby businesses immediately west of the building were affected by smoke.
“(These businesses) are not going to close, but they will be closed for now,” Parker said Friday.
The cause of the fire is being investigated. Parker acknowledged that homeless people had been living in the space for “quite a while.”
Firefighters who arrived at the scene were met with thick smoke coming from the front of the building and broken windows open to the air.
Firefighters could see flames deep inside the building, and some residents told firefighters that people could stay inside.
Parker said at this time it appears no one was inside, but the investigation is ongoing. Parker said the building contains a lot of trash. Flames engulfed the entire roof of the building.
The main part of the fire was contained by 1am and firefighters remained on the scene until 6am
Firefighters say curious people should stay away from the scene.
A total of 25 firefighters arrived at the scene. It included five engines and a truck company from the City of Merced Fire Department, two chiefs, two engines and a battalion chief from the California/Merced County Fire Department.
This story was originally published January 27, 2023 at 12:52 p.m.
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